MY COWORKERS ALL LOVE GUNS, SO SHOULD I GET ONBOARD TOO?
What do you do when your coworker won’t stop talking about her other coworker who won’t stop talking about guns?
“So he started watching gun enthusiast videos in the common space, which is after he made a joke the other day about killing people, and oh, he also has a lot of guns at home.”
This is my coworker. We usher together at a theater in midtown Manhattan, which just means that we hang around the theater in blacks and a tie and smile at people a lot.
“So you called the police then, right?”
“Well, then I went to my boss, and I was like, ‘he shouldn’t be watching those videos at work,’ and by boss was like, ‘it’s not your business to tell people what not to watch,’ and I was like, ‘when it’s in the common work space of my job it is my business.’”
“So then you called the police?”
“I don’t want to ruin his life.”
That’s what she said. While she vented about her shitty coworker who is making her uncomfortable with his mass-murdery tendencies. While she complains to bosses who think he’s joking and the police continue to have no idea. She doesn’t want to ruin his life.
But when is it his own fault? He’s the one spouting these horrible things at work and in public. Doesn’t that make it his own fault if someone gets spooked, rightfully, and calls the authorities?
“But what if he comes back with a gun and shoots everybody?”
“He’s not going to do that, he’s been working there for sixteen years.”
“You’ve never heard of people working someplace forever and then snapping one day?”
“Yeah, I guess that happens, but that’s not going to happen. And I don’t want to create tension at work, or worse, get fired.”
Yeah, because you would rather not get fired then prevent a potential mass-shooting. I think we used to be able to do this, to put it off, to say it’s probably nothing. But not anymore. Too many times the evidence has been found, in plain sight, after the fact. Too many times we have dead parents and partners saying, why didn’t anybody say something. Too many times. Too many people.
My coworker just wanted to vent. She didn’t want any actual feedback, and when I realized this, I stopped talking, I stopped engaging. Because she didn’t want to hear what I had to say, and the more I pushed action, the more she defended her latent position. I probably made it worse with all my heckling. Maybe I’m the one who will have blood on her hands.